Hey Everyone! I’m thrilled to be able to bring you a guest post from one of the head Chefs at my University’s Culinary School today. I told Chef Lewis that we were always on the lookout for quick and easy dishes that could impress, especially at Christmastime and he came through with one that is just beautiful. I know you’re going to love this idea! Special thanks to the culinary department of the University of North Alabama (click here to visit their Facebook page) and to all of my wonderful teachers who put up with me back in the day 🙂
Hi there, I’m Chef Lewis from the University of North Alabama’s Culinary Department in Florence, Al. I was asked to do a guest post to share some of our recipes for the holidays, and I was more than happy to do so. We’re very happy to have Christy as one of our departments alumni’s, and we’re happy that we can share some of our ideas with all of you.
Today I’m going to show you how to make a quick and easy party entree that your guests are sure to love.
You’ll need:: 3 cheese tri-colored tortellini, olive oil, pesto, spaghetti sauce, salt, skewers or picks.
Note: This tortellini is found in the refrigerator section (usually near the cheese) or in the freezer section of your grocery store.
Bring the water and salt to boil in a pot.
Add the packages of tortellini to the water, and cook about 2-3 minutes.
Drain the pasta with a colander.
Then place the pasta into a second bowl, and coat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (this will keep the pasta from sticking together).
Spread the pasta onto a single layer in a pan, and allow to cool enough that you can handle it comfortably.
You can then use either bamboo skewers or small colorful picks to skewer the pasta.
For using the bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in a pan of water for about 20 minutes before you put the tortellini on them.
This makes keeps them from splintering when you put the pasta on them.
Place them on the picks in alternating colors, using 6 pieces total for the longer skewers, or 3 pieces on the shorter picks.
This is a shorter pick for a smaller platter.
This is a longer pick, where I used a bamboo skewer, for the larger platter.
Arrange them on a serving dish to look like a Holiday wreath.
In the center of the wreath, place a small serving bowl filled with either marinara sauce, or pesto, whichever one you personally like better.
This photo shows long skewers arranged in a large wreath pattern with marinara sauce in the center.
And here are our shorter skewers arranged around some store bought pesto sauce.
Dip into sauce and enjoy this easy Holiday treat!
Merry Christmas from Southern Plate and the University of North Alabama Culinary Department!
- 1-2 Packages Tri-Color Three Cheese Tortellini*
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Bamboo Skewers or picks
- 2-4 Tablespoons Salt (I like mine salty, you can use less)
- Store Bought Pesto Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce
- Place wooden skewers in pan of cool water and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
- Fill a large pot with water, add salt. Bring to a boil. Add tortellini and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain tortellini in a colander. Place drained tortellini in a bowl and add olive oil, stirring to coat. Spread out in a single layer on a sheet and allow to cool until able to handle.
- Alternate colors as you place pieces of tortellini onto skewers, using the same pattern on each skewer. Arrange in a wreath formation on a platter and place a bowl of Pesto or Spaghetti Sauce in center for serving. Enjoy!
No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land,
or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
– Helen Keller
Submitted by Denise Flynn. Submit your quote by clicking here.
I’ve used the 3-color Tortellini for years now, as it’s tasty and looks great. For alternative sauces, consider some simple creamy salad dressings like creamy parmesan or a buffalo ranch dressing.
At home, I saute a large Vidalia onion in a stick of butter, and when they are tender I just pour the whole thing over a serving dish of Tortellini and let the folks help themselves.
Tortellini is a very useful pasta, either by itself with sauce, or in a soup, or even in a pasta salad. Very versatile.
I just wondered…do you try to serve this right away so tortellini stays hot/warm? Or is cold just fine?
What a great idea. I just happened upon your blog and got caught up immediately in it. I’ve bookmarked it and will peruse it in depth later on. I love to share the recipes I grew up with, and let people in on the Danish way of cooking, but since I moved to the south I’ve become a real enthusiastic supporter of most southern cooking.
What a great idea, I am making food for a wedding reception this weekend and this recipe is now included. Happens we went to Sam’s the day after I got the email with this and they were sampling these, my kids loved them. The guests will just have to dip some sauce on their plate to dip the pasta in.